Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Balancing on Top of the World


Our weekend trip to western Virginia was lovely. We thought we would stay around Charlottesville for the night, but ended up driving through Lynchburg, which seemed strangely and eerily deserted until we reached the shopping malls outside of town, and then on to Roanoke, which was also strange in its own way. It's a cool little Eastern city, with the feel of a section plucked out of New York or Philadelphia, with clusters of of independent stores and restaurants. But since the streetlights didn't go on until about two hours after full darkness, even though the streets weren't exactly deserted, it felt surreal and other-worldly. When they did go on, the city became quite charming.


The next day we drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway, the southern equivalent of Skyline Drive. It was a beautiful, foliage-filled drive, albeit a bit chilly and cloudy, and breathtaking in more than one way.


It truly is a ridge, far above the land, with non-guardrailed twists and turns 1800 feet above the valleys on either side. Breathtaking, indeed. Poor Al had to try to ignore my sharp gasps and my clutching whatever was close at hand every time we came to a turn. I'm sure there was plenty of room, but I make a much better driver than passenger.

The clouds, and a haze over the valleys, not to mention the photographer's ineptitude with her new camera, did not let the glorious, frootloopish colors show themselves off in their full glory. But never fear, I had my turn-everything-into-a-Maxfield-Parrish-scene sunglasses on. Let me demonstrate.

Without sunglasses:


With sunglasses:


We did leave the parkway for a little, descending into the valley below to see if we could find the Natural Bridge, which we somehow missed, but we found something else instead. Al suddenly said, "Was that Stonehenge up there on the hill?"

Foamhenge (BlueRidge087)

Foamhenge (BlueRidge091)

No, not Stonehenge. Foamhenge.

Foamhenge (BlueRidge103)

Foamhenge (BlueRidge100)

Foamhenge (BlueRidge097)

For the last stretch of our parkway drive, the sun came out for good, allowing for some nice rambles on short trails, and some cheerfully brighter photographs. A fantastic weekend getaway.



Felicia said...

Wow! Thank you so much for taking me along on that beautiful autumn adventure :)

carolyn said...

Lovely post for me, my little brother lives in Charlottesville and rides his bike along the Blueridge Parkway (he is some kind of endurance bicycle rider). I haven't visited since since 2004 so it's nice to see it all again.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Radio Girl.

I was wondering if your maps were in the Smithsonian magazine. Everytime I see a map in there it reminds me of yours.

Have a Blessed Month!

Flassie's Fil'a

Crashdummie said...

oh the autumn pics *sigh* just loved the one with the colorful trees in the background..

btw, foamhenge?!? omg i cant stop laughing! Too funny al.

Thanc for sharing. And I'm so tagging along on ur next adventure!

tinker said...

Wonderful photos - and though I've always wanted to see Stonehenge, thanks for sharing the next best thing -Foamhenge, haha!

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!